History’s humming along

THE stories behind five local and iconic live music venues will be told in a new oral history project launching on March 12.

Music in Vincent is a joint project between the Vincent local history centre and the state library, which teamed up to collect stories and interview 13 prominent figures from past and present venues.

There’s mainstays like the 65-year-old Charles Hotel, home to the Perth Blues Club since the early 90s and a renowned ground for new performers, touring musos and long-time veterans like PBC president Rick Steele, who was interviewed.

The Rosemount Hotel’s also featured, a part of the live music scene since the 80s that’s been reinvigorated as one of the top live music venues in recent years. There are interviews with music programmer Andrew Ryan, muso Vanessa Thornton and Luke Rinaldi who was booking agent for 12 years.. 

• Perth music scene pillar Rick Steele showing Emma Cole around one of his long-time haunts, the Charles Hotel.

Ellington Jazz Club owner Bernard Kong tells the tale of the intimate little venue that was quickly recognised as world class and has hosted huge international names in jazz.

The historians have also tracked down former Hyde Park Hotel owner Paul Higgins, whose family ran the place during its raucous heyday as a punk venue.  

The interviews also tell of the genesis of Fremantle’s world music hub Kulcha, which was born in the cultural melting pot of North Perth as the North Perth Ethnic Music Centre. 

Vincent mayor Emma Cole says live music is a big part of Vincent culture and the venues “are like second homes to our musicians and their audiences”.

“Most of us in Vincent have a story to share of a gig at one of our favourites,” Ms Cole said.

After the screening, the interviews and transcripts will be available in the Vincent and state library catalogues. Music in Vincent launches Thursday March 12 at the Rosemount Hotel at 6pm. 

by DAVID BELL

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